By Ben Vasta, Men's Rugby
Hi, I am Ben Vasta, a former member of the Army West Point men's rugby team, and a lifelong brother to countless others who have ever worn the Army rugby jersey.
Buckle up! The story I am going to share with you is a rollercoaster recap of my last four years as a member of the team.
Where do I start?
Let us go back to the fall of 2016. I am a plebe and part of the first recruiting class for rugby at West Point. Before coming to Army, I played rugby for about two years. I was excited for the opportunity to play collegiate rugby at the Division I level and in America’s most competitive rugby league before the Major League Rugby started.
My career as a rugby player at West Point started out strong. I was fortunate enough to make the top-23 among the team most game weekends in the fall as a plebe. Even though my performance on the pitch was going well, I was not performing well in the classroom. I struggled to get ahead on my academic work, and it was spiraling out of control.
Eventually I hit rock bottom. I committed an honor violation in November of 2016 for lying about the word count on a research paper. I never thought my cadet career could get any worse; then it did.
I ended up failing the research paper and the class. By the end of my first semester I had a 1.63 GPA, an honor board and a fractured fibula from rugby. As you can tell, I had a rough start to my cadet career. Read more.